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50,000 locals hired in first month of Jobs Growth Incentive scheme last year: MOM

50,000 locals hired in first month of Jobs Growth Incentive scheme last year: MOM

Office workers walk around the financial business district in Singapore on Nov 23, 2020. (Photo: AFP/ROSLAN RAHMAN)

SINGAPORE: More than 50,000 local workers were hired under the Jobs Growth Incentive in September last year, one month after the scheme launched, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Saturday (Jan 23) in its 17th and latest Jobs Situation Report. 

The Jobs Growth Incentive is a wage subsidy scheme introduced in August aimed at encouraging firms to hire more locals in response to the COVID-19 economic fallout.

According to the ministry’s preliminary estimates, about half of the 50,000 local hires were aged 40 and over. The top hiring sectors were: Food services (7,700 local hires), wholesale trade (4,600), professional services (4,000), construction (3,300) and education (3,000).

About 14,000 companies tapped on the Jobs Growth Incentive scheme, which expires next month. 

Under the S$1 billion programme, the Government will co-pay between 25 and 50 per cent of the first S$5,000 of a local hire’s gross monthly wages for 12 months. 

Companies that take in workers aged 40 and above, disabled people and ex-offenders receive a 50 per cent salary rebate per hire, while hiring anyone else gets them a 25 per cent reimbursement.

Firms must increase both their overall local workforce size and the local workforce size earning at least S$1,400 a month compared to their August 2020 local headcount to qualify for the JGI.  

READ: Safeguards in place to prevent Jobs Growth Incentive abuse: Josephine Teo

The number of workers each of the top hiring sectors took in under the Jobs Growth Incentivescheme. (Image: Ministry of Manpower) READ: Singapore’s unemployment rate in November fell for the first time in 2020 Speaking to the media on Friday ahead of the report’s release, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said the Government is still mulling whether to extend the scheme, as the labour market is still steeped in uncertainty.“Although indications from November onwards is encouraging that unemployment (came) down, but unemployment is

The Government hoped the scheme would encourage firms doing well to hire first instead of waiting until the road ahead was clear.

“I cannot say for a fact that the Jobs Growth Incentive will be continued. So if you have good candidates, don’t hesitate,” Mrs Teo said.


JOB OPENINGS IN F&B INDUSTRY 

Separately, MOM gave an update about the number of jobs on offer in the food services sector. 

As of the end of last year, there were at least 9,200 job openings posted on the MyCareersFuture portal; 37 per cent of them were for professionals, managers, executives and technicians, or PMET, roles.

Examples of white-collared positions include sales, marketing and business development managers, where the monthly pay ranged from S$3,000 to S$6,500, and food and beverage services managers that could earn between S$2,600 and S$3,250.

Blue-collared roles such as cooks and wait staff could earn between S$2,250 and S$3,000, and S$1,600 and S$2,000 respectively. The ministry said these jobs are able to offer more flexible work arrangements, and are suitable for older workers, students looking for part-time jobs and caregivers who need more accommodating hours.

How much jobseekers in the food services sector can expect to earn. (Image: Ministry of Manpower)

Editor's note: A previous version of this article said that new employees must earn at least S$1,400 a month for a company to be eligible for the Jobs Growth Incentive. This is incorrect. Companies must increase both their overall local workforce size and the local workforce size earning at least S$1,400 a month compared to their August 2020 local headcount to qualify for the scheme. We apologise for the error.

Source: CNA/aj

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